SUN Hockey Pool

Roy just wants to contribute

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- Mathieu Roy knows he's jinxed. He has the scars to prove it.

But there's something about being used as fate's whipping post that brings out the calm in a person, and Roy is in that place right now.

After having his best chances to make inroads with the Edmonton Oilers derailed by one unfortunate incident after another, the 24-year-old defenceman is at peace with Lady Luck -- whatever her plans for his future.

"It's hard to say (why there seems to be a curse)," said Roy, who joined the Oilers in San Jose yesterday after being called up from Springfield of the American Hockey League.

With Joni Pitkanen wrestling with hip flexor trouble, Edmonton needs a seventh defenceman, and if Roy can stay healthy, he's it.

"I'm a good-living guy," he said. "But if it (another injury) has to come again, it'll come again. I can't control those things. I'm just going to go out there and do what I have to do.

"If bad things happen again, they happen. And if they don't, well, good for me."

Between a pair of concussions, a shoulder injury and being hit in the face with a puck in the last year and a bit, you'd think Roy has exhausted his allotment of bad things.

"Every time I get a chance, something happens to me," he shrugged.

"It's hard to get rolling and get confidence and establish myself in the lineup. The only thing I can do is work at it and keep coming back from what's happened to me."

The Oilers sent him to the minors in late November for what was supposed to be a two-week conditioning stint after he separated his shoulder. As the likes of Sheldon Souray, Matt Greene and Joni Pitkanen returned from their injuries, those two weeks turned into 10.

"I just went there to work on my game and make sure I would be the first one called up," said Roy.

"I was playing a lot of minutes, playing the power play and penalty killing. I was trying to keep things simple, like my game is.

"I'm not a spectacular defenceman who's going to bring the puck coast to coast. I just try to get better in my aspect of the game. Hopefully I can bring that here."

Head coach Craig MacTavish has always liked the top end of Roy's game. He's safe and physical, two elements every team needs.

"He's got a really good high- level game, an NHL-calibre game," said MacTavish.

"But to this point he's been unable to hold his game there. Normally he starts off really strong in the first couple of games and for whatever reason his play seems to fall off, which is a little hard to explain.

"When he's on top of his game, it's definitely a game that's good enough to keep him in the NHL."


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